Both Christian and secular psychologists agree that child centered homes are risky business. Couples who center their homes around children have higher divorce rates, they strain marriages, they exhaust parents, and they set up children for a rude awakening as adults when they realize that the world doesn't revolve around them.
What does a child-centered family look like? How can we make sure we're "doing it right"? Here are a few comparisons to consider. Does your family look like the one on the right or the left?
In a child-centered, family, the parents "date" their children
Husband and wife date each other intentionally and set aside time for intimacy
All special occasions, even Valentine's Day and anniversaries include and center around children
Children Children are included in celebrations, but romantic occasions include some boundaries, and some specific celebration/gifts are for husband and wife alone
Screensavers and electronic wallpaper photos are of the children
Photos of your children are cherished, but some photos of your spouse or of you two alone are also displayed.
Parents behave like roommates
Parents behave like lovers and partners
Weekends center around children, social activities, extracurricular activities, and sporting events.
Weekends Weekends are for family time, with sometimes set aside for husband and wife alone
Conversations are centered around the children
Parents Parents generally have a variety of subjects to discuss and look forward to private conversations
Evening activity center around and include children
Children's bedtimes are observed (younger children go to bed, while older children may be told to retreat to their rooms for the evening), allowing husband and wife to spend some time together alone each night
During car rides, one spouse may sit in the backseat with younger children
Adults are in the front seat, and children in the backseat
Children and parents sharing a bed is the norm
Children sleep in their own beds, and spouses sleep together (with the expectation of a special occasion, illness, injury, etc.).
Meal choices at home and at restaurants are decided with the children's preferences in mind
Adults make decisions about meals